Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sat Oct 25 2008 - 03:57:26 EDT

Hi, Dennis,

I'm afraid if your person is not interested in looking at evidence
there's not a great deal you can do. I have attempted to debate in a
reasoned and gentlemanly fashion with various YEC's and I've found it
to be by and large a pretty frustrating experience. Whatever evidence
you provide, or rebuttals to certain "Creation Science" claims, they
always just switch the subject and hit you wit more "claims", along
the lines of "ah but what about this .... xyz", without acknowledging
that your previous point was incorrect.

On another occasion one YEC pastor told me "if I believed, as you do
that the world is billions of years old, then I would leave the faith
and become an atheist". It didn't give me much incentive to go on and
try and persuade him the earth was billions of years old!

For a while I was deluded by the YEC message, and would have called
myself a YEC when I first joined this list. I can tell you what I
found helpful and what I found wasn't helpful.

What was helpful was gracious people who explained the scientific
point of view without in a reasoned manner. What I did NOT find
helpful was the insulting comments that were thrown out, in an
apparent attempt to humiliate me. I was accused of being
"incompetent" at one point, for example. There are certain people on
the list who seem to froth at the mouth at the sight of a YEC, and who
think it's perfectly acceptable to indulge in ad hominem attacks.
Careless comments such as were complained about on this list only
today do NOT ease tension and just get peoples' backs up. Bombastic
bullying, attacks on peoples' personal morality etc etc should be
avoided - indeed I think disciplinary action should be taken against
list members who engage in this kind of behaviour.

But the most helpful thing to me was just thinking about scripture.
My own turning point came when out on an evening walk when I came to
thinking about Nicodemus - asking about entering his mother's womb a
second time to be "born again". It was made clear to him that it
wasn't that kind of birth ( ie literal/physical), and hence that Death
(arising from the Fall) by the same token wasn't that kind of death.
It was an immense relief to come to the realisation that "no death
before the fall" didn't mean you had to be YEC, in the same way that
Nicodemus was told he didn't have to go back into his mother's womb in
order to get born again.


On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 10:00 PM, Dennis Venema <> wrote:
> I seem to be something of a lightning rod for YECs in my local church
> sphere. At present I am discussing these issues with a gentleman from my
> congregation, but I am not making much progress in having him try to
> understand my point of view. We can't even get past the age-of-the-earth
> issue. He is not interested in looking at any evidence, either.
> I am interested in what advice folks might have I am especially interested
> in hearing from those of you who used to be YECs but now accept an old
> earth. What was useful to you as you made the transition?
> Thanks, all.
> Dennis

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Received on Sat Oct 25 03:58:01 2008

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